On September 12, 1967 Ralph Axtell, of the Biology Department of Southern Illinois University, called the Smithsonian Institution using the teletype connected to his time-shared computer and asked for a [computer] program for the calculation of standard deviations. The Smithsonian then sent him two computer programs. This demonstrated that, using data communications equipment and telephone lines, “it is fast, practical, and feasible to exchange programs in the BASIC language, written for use by biosystematists, between institutions in the United States.” A revolution had begun that would transform museums, research, systematics and science.
The following day Dr. James A. Peters produced the inaugural issue of the MUDPIE (Museum and University Data Program and Information Exchange) Newsletter.
MUDPIE newsletter documents many early events in the adoption of computers and timesharing computing in museums and universities, and was founded and produced by Dr. Peters, the only editor in the newsletter’s publication history. Twenty-six issues of MUDPIE were produced and distributed over a five-year period, between September 1967 and September 1972. All issues are now digitally available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library thanks to the Smithsonian Libraries.